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Old 09-17-2010, 07:13 AM
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Default Best material for new gauge panel?

I am replacing all my instruments and I need to make a new gauge panel. The existing one is not a complicated design, essentially flat in the form of a halv oval.

What is the best material to use that is easy to work with, can be spray painted and clear coated and does not deteriorate in the marine environment?

I have seen suggestions to use "King Starboard" which I guess is really polyethylene. Is that a good idea? It is only available in white over here so it will have to be painted.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:29 AM
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I have made a few and have had great success with lexan you sand the back side and paint what ever color you want
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:29 AM
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I have made a few and have had great success with lexan you sand the back side and paint what ever color you want
I also have used Lexan..and found out that with a good primer and epoxy paint.....the finnish really held up under tough conditions.
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:01 AM
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I wouldnt listen to semperfishing look at his sig pic!!!
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:09 AM
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starboard
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:22 AM
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i would buy a small sheet of carbon fiber. Has a great look and very easy to work with. Ive bought them on Ebay a few times. Aluminum also does well, has to be sprayed with laquer or something and it alittle harder to work with.
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by politby View Post
I am replacing all my instruments and I need to make a new gauge panel. The existing one is not a complicated design, essentially flat in the form of a halv oval.

What is the best material to use that is easy to work with, can be spray painted and clear coated and does not deteriorate in the marine environment?

I have seen suggestions to use "King Starboard" which I guess is really polyethylene. Is that a good idea? It is only available in white over here so it will have to be painted.
I use aluminium...







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Old 09-17-2010, 11:50 AM
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I wouldnt listen to semperfishing look at his sig pic!!!
Right.....I guess it could use a bit of caulking ..but nothing a 3000 GPM bilge pump wont handle.

And less wind resistance with all the windows out...

But the two side bumpers are heirloom's.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:01 PM
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I don't think starboard can be painted. The white doesn't stay white for long, and it can be a problem to clean around gauges and switches. Lexan is cool because it can be painted, heated and bent, and cut with most woodworking tools (watch it though, it gets really hot!). If you don't sand it thoroughly before painting, the paint will flake off - ask me how I know this.

Hey, semperfifishing, you got any more of those fenders in the attic? What kind of bottom paint have you got on there, and how's it holding up?
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:02 PM
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I am hearing a lot of people switching to acrylic panels. Don't know much about them. I will use different materials depending on the situation. I like the look of carbon fiber, aluminum and plexi they are all good materials. You can also use some luan and glass both sides and fare it out for paint. The possibilities are endless, just depends on what you are more comfortable working with.
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:21 PM
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Hey, semperfifishing, you got any more of those fenders in the attic? What kind of bottom paint have you got on there, and how's it holding up?
Bottom paint?

Never touch the stuff..with right marine growth you get a great natural color.
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:36 PM
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I like ABS Plastic, You can get it in a pebble grain finish and it it paintable, You can use any type of automotive paint and it hold up well...You can get it in White, black or gray...It is durable, stiff ( 1/4" works well) and is easily cutable and you can g=heat it and bend it. It does not shatter like plexiglass and it easier to drill than lexan. Also you can plastic weld and epoxy to it... I've build several panels out of the stuff.

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Old 09-17-2010, 03:25 PM
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i had Scot make my new Mako panels, best work ive ever seen.
http://vectorled.com/
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:37 PM
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if you want to do this yourself, the easiest and most professional look is acrylic plex - it's gloss and with polished edges far outstrips starboard long term for looks and it can be glued:


we use a lot of black
www.elec-unlimited.com
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:39 PM
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Aluminum is an excellent material for making instrument panels. You can easily drill, cut, shape, and bend aluminum. Aluminum is easy to paint.

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/ref...geRigging.html
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen E View Post
if you want to do this yourself, the easiest and most professional look is acrylic plex - it's gloss and with polished edges far outstrips starboard long term for looks and it can be glued:


we use a lot of black
www.elec-unlimited.com
Glen where do you guys buy those acrylic sheets? Allen
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:06 AM
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Quote:
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if you want to do this yourself, the easiest and most professional look is acrylic plex - it's gloss and with polished edges far outstrips starboard long term for looks and it can be glued:


we use a lot of black
www.elec-unlimited.com
]Those look really good. By acrylic plex I assume you mean PMMA (Polymethyl methacrylate)?

That material is supposed to be really suitable for laser cutting - I have a guy nearby who does this so I may have him do the job.

There is a company just a few miles away from me that sells this stuff, it is available in lots of different colors, I may even be able to get it in a gray opaque color that will match my helm perfectly.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:20 PM
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I recently re-did my dash with new Faria gauges and a Garmin 5212. I bought a carbon fiber panel and made the cutouts with a cnc router at work, though a hand held router with a template would have also worked. Still, carbon fiber is not as easy to work with for a DIY job as starboard, Plexiglas or PVC.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:16 PM
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Yea, I was debating what to do about the dash on my bay boat. the layout does not work for me and the "remote" that would leave a hole in the dash serves no purpose when it is less than 2 ft from the stupid radio... heh

My biggest issue is the 10" sub woofer that I cannot figure what to replace with to keep from having a hole in the console

I was deabting a tackle box, but it needs 9.5" of clearance and I am thinking that would hit the steering cables.. dagnabbit..

Here's the current setup:



I really want all those switches down together to the lower right, like most folks have, to free up the dash.

Here's a shot of the steering column and that blasted woofer.. heh:



I figured to get some starboard and redo it all.. but that carbon looks nice too.

R
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:35 AM
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Question: What thickness would you guys use?

I was debating King Starboard, but you guys state it fades. Does it fade any more than the normal console?

I also heard the plastic material they make cutting boards out of, but it would "look" different, so..

I am very interested in this now.. lol. I assume I would need a good router, so this will look clean and professional.

I also wonder what folks use to add the border on, like "Triton" with a black boarder. I am assuming you can order some stickers. Maybe, after adding those, one could add a really thick coat of protective sealant or something, maybe a thick clear paint of some sort, or glue, that shines up, and would also protect the starboard? Just thinking out loud
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